29 October 2015

Travel Post: A day in and around Krugersdorp

The husband and I went to Krugersdorp two weekends ago. Krugersdorp isn't exactly a holiday destination, but I had a SafariNow voucher and I saw on Google Maps that there were a lot of cool stuff to do and see close by.

No8 Guest House

We stayed at No8 Guest House in town and it was a really quirky and modern guest house. It's basically a big house that was partitioned into small bachelor flats, each with its own entrance, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and backdoor. All the rooms' backdoors lead to a big swimming pool and a lapa of sorts. We were only there for one night so we didn't utilise the pool or the braai facilities.

We mostly lazed around at the guesthouse and went to explore the town. We ended up watching the rugby match (South Africa versus Wales) at the Silver Star Casino on the big screen outside. There were a lot of people, and the lucky ones (those who planned well) got seats at restaurants while the rest of us sat on restaurant steps. It was a great evening and we had a celebratory dinner at one of the restaurants when the crowds thinned out.

The next day (Sunday) we had a big delicious breakfast at the guesthouse before checking out. I would recommend this guesthouse solely on the owner, Eksteen. Eksteen is so welcoming and friendly, it feels like you're visiting a friend.

Rhino & Lion Park

After checking out we went to the Rhino & Lion Park just outside Krugersdorp. Entry into the park was R140 per person, which seems like a lot, but we saw a LOT. We saw everything from ostriches to lions to rhinos to wild dogs. It was money well spent and I can definitely recommend it! There is also cub interaction as well as a rehabilitated cheetah, Anabelle, who runs after a 2 litre bottle at high speed. Sounds weird but it's awesome to see a cheetah accelerate! The highlight of the afternoon was when I got to feed a giraffe! Below are a couple of photos taken on the day.

White rhino wallowing in the mud

Sable Antelope


King of the jungle!


National bird - Blue crane

Two wildebeest locking horns over a salt slab

White rhino family - mommy, baby, and presumably daddy in the background

Me feeding the giraffe

Until next time!


26 October 2015

A Brand to Love: SKOON. skincare

As the beauty junkie hoarder collector that I am, I'm always very excited about new releases, new collections, and most of all, new brands. During the past few weeks I've heard about SKOON. skincare from reading South African beauty blogs. Reading All Dolled Up's September favourites (you can read it here) really piqued my interest when they raved about the Ruby Marine overnight hydrating mask. They also mentioned that you can do a skin analysis on SKOON.'s website and then they send you samples to try.

I completed the skin analysis on the website and received an email a few days later saying that samples from my personalised skincare routine was on its way. In today's post I'll be telling you which samples I received, and what my initial thoughts are on them.


Firstly, SKOON. is a proudly South African skincare brand who only uses the finest natural ingredients. They have a whole FAQ section that you can browse where they answer questions about how to use the products and give information about what the terms used on their labels mean (natural, organic, etcetera). They also have an in-house chemist who can be contacted for more information. SKOON. does not have strict rules about which products to use in what way, they say that you can use their products in any way, as long as you find something that works for you.

The products

The products are all in glass jars or pipettes - no sample packets here! The samples were all bundled up in a beautiful drawstring pouch with the brand's name/logo embroidered on it. The paper the parcel was wrapped in also had their named on. I love their attention to detail!

White Wash Purifying Cleanser

As someone with combination oily skin I absolutely love clay masks and clay cleansers, as I just feel that clay really purifies my skin. This cleanser isn't a thick muddy clay, it's softer but not quite as runny as the clay cleanser from Dermalogica. It has a gentle smell and smoothes onto the skin nicely. I am quite heavy handed when it comes to facial cleansers, but I've used this about five times and there's still left in the pot! I first remove my eye makeup with micellar water, so I can't really comment on the makeup remover abilities of this cleanser. I can, however, say that it leaves my skin clean and bright, and definitely not stripped. I will definitely be purchasing a full size version of this.

Regulating Toner (Elderflower)

The toner comes in the cutest little spray bottle. It smells like the grape-flavoured allergy syrup I used to drink when I was little (it's a compliment, I promise!). Two sprays use up pretty much half of the contents of the bottle, so I can't really say whether or not it has changed my skin. It is lovely and cooling, though. And it smells nice.

Prescription Peptide Cream - Resurfacing Moisturiser

This product really intrigued me as I couldn't find it on the website and I wasn't sure when to use it. The vivid yellow-orange colour scared me as did the words "prescription peptide" and "resurfacing". It leaves my skin slightly orange, so I prefer to apply this at night. I don't know if it's this product alone or if it's the new skincare combinations I'm currently playing with, but oh my goodness. I used this two nights in a row and on both mornings after I applied it, I could see a difference in my skin. A big difference. Now, I'm not sure what this cream is *supposed* to do, but I can tell you that it improved the tone and texture of my skin. My red patches were gone and the little spots that I get on my cheeks from trying out new things were also gone. The morning after I hadn't applied this cream, the redness and spots were back, so you do the math! Price permitting I think I will need a full size tub of this in my life.

Moisture Gel Super Fluid and Balancing Fluid Mineral Matte

I haven't really had a chance to try out these two day moisturisers, as I'm currently trialling a few other things, but I'll use them in due time and report back!

Overnight Hydrating Mask

I don't like to exaggerate, but believe me when I say this mask will change your life. It's a pale pink cream that you leave on overnight, and it smells like coconut biscuits. When you apply it to your skin it's quite oily due to the coconut oil, but just stick it out. If you hate coconut you will probably not like this, as the smell tends to linger. Luckily I love coconut, so the scent was a bonus for me. You don't need to use a lot of product as the oiliness makes it spread easily. I try to pop it on a few hours before bedtime so that it has time to sink in. Otherwise I just use a tissue and lightly blot the oily areas before I get into bed. The next morning my skin looks plump, even toned, and healthy! I have a glow that I haven't seen in ages. I'm prepared to say that, regardless of how much it costs, I will be purchasing a full size of this!

Serum and Concentrate

The people at SKOON. skincare believe that you should be able to customise your skincare routine to suit your skin. I am fortunate to have a couple of moisturisers and a couple of facial cleansers on rotation so that on a particular day I can use what my skin needs that day. This is where the concentrates come in. (Side note: I absolutely love the little glass pipettes with the clean white and black labels!)

I received the "Moisture Now Serum - Skin Sips" and the "White Cloud Manuka". I still need to experiment some more with this, but currently I mix a drop or two into my moisturiser before applying it to my skin. You can even add a few drops to your foundation for a lovely glow. How you use it is completely up to you. I love the fact that I can mix and match my skincare routine and that I'm not bound to "rules" concerning how to use the products.

The ladies at SKOON. are currently flooded with requests for samples, but they did promise to give samples again soon, so please be patient! Remember, good things come to those who wait...

Until next time!


22 October 2015

Review: REN Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial

I have tried quite a few of REN's products and I have yet to come across one that I didn't love. Today's review is no exception as I'll be raving and swooning over their latest offering in the radiance collection.

REN's Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial*, or as I like to all it, Good Skin In A Tube, is the latest addition to their Radiance range. Regular readers of this blog will know that I love the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. The night-time facial is also a chemical exfoliater of sorts, but instead of washing it off after ten minutes, you leave it on overnight. It contains a unique complex of Glycolic and Lactic acids from yeast, pineapple, and passion fruit, that delivers a three-phase treatment while you snooze to renew skin and boost cell vitality and moisture.

The first few times I applied it, it stung my cheeks slightly, but that disappeared after about half a minute. I have to warn you, it smells awful. Where the Glycolactic mask smells like orange marmalade, this smells like rotten orange peels (sorry). The consistency of the mask is a slightly runny gel-cream and two pumps are enough to cover my entire face. I apply it post cleansing and toning and lightly massage it into my skin as I would do with a moisturiser. The tube says to follow it up with your normal moisturiser, but I've heard some people stop at the night-time facial step. I've tried both options and can't really tell the difference the next morning.

The cream sinks into the skin and isn't greasy or tacky. The smell also thankfully disappears after a while. The next morning my skin is clear, plump, smooth, and it looks like my redness is also reduced. You can use this two to three times a week, but I use it twice a week. I've used it about four or five times in total and my skin is smooth, bright, and clear. This tube is going to have a permanent place on my bathroom shelf, I can tell.

Look, it isn't a cheap product (R620 for 40 ml), but at two to four pumps a week this tube will last you a long time. And the results truly speak for themselves. Go on, treat yourself!

[UPDATE: REN is currently selling the Night-time facial for 20% less on their website, go go go!]

Until next time!


*PR sample

15 October 2015

New in: L.A. Girl Blush Palettes

L.A. Girl has really been killing it in recent months with their affordable and good quality makeup. They brought out a BB cream, primer, concealer, eyeshadow palettes, and now, blush palettes. Yes, the much-coveted blush palettes are finally here!

The blush palettes come in cardboard packaging, which is quite sturdy, but won't travel well. They are exactly the same dimensions as the eyeshadow palettes, so you could bundle all your palettes together in a drawer if you wished. I have to admit, this makes my little OCD heart very happy. There are four different blush palettes but I bought "Pinky" and "Glow". Each palette has two blushes, a bronzer, and a highlighter shade.

L.A. Girl Blush Collection in "Glow"

The above two photos are without flash (top), and with flash (bottom). From left to right are the two blushes, the bronzer, and the highlight shade. The darkest blush is a rosy pink, and the lightest blush is a light pink with a slight shimmer running through it. The blush is a warm-toned mid-brown without any shimmer or orange-ness whatsoever. The highlight shade looks white in the pan, but on the skin it's the most beautiful iridescent pale champagne colour with fine shimmer. All the shades are geared towards amping up the glow, and they work well together. 

L.A. Girl Blush Collection in "Pinky"

The above two photos are without flash (top), and with flash (bottom). The darkest blush is a bright pink, and the lighter blush is a vibrant bubblegum pink with a subtle shimmer running through it. The bronzer has a bit of an orange hue and is more warm-toned than the bronzer in "Glow". The highlighter shade is a pinky champagne, and cooler than the highlighter in "Glow". The shades also work together well.

The verdict

Look, I'm not going to tell you that this is comparable to NARS blushes, but for the price you would have to look far to find better options. The blushes, bronzers, and highlighters are powdery and reasonably buttery. They blend well and lasts for a few hours. These palettes retail for R99.95 each at Dischem, but have a lookout as Dischem sometimes have L.A. Girl products on special.

Which palettes will you be buying? Let me know!

Until next time!


12 October 2015

{Unboxing} The October Test Box

Do you like oatmeal? Do you like honey? Have you ever considered using haircare products with these ingredients...? These are probably the questions that the people at The Test Box were pondering when they put together the October box!

Tigi Oatmeal & Honey Shampoo (50 ml)

The shampoo moisturises and conditions dry, damaged hair. It leaves the hair soft and silky, and is safe to use on colour-treated hair. It contains hydrolyzed wheat protein, Vitamin E, glycerin, and a conditioning agent. The shampoo left my hair clean and non-stripped. I could feel the nourishing effect from the first wash. The full size product can be purchased here for R330 (300 ml).

Tigi Oatmeal & Honey Conditioner (50 ml)

The conditioner has a lovely soft oatmeal and honey scent. It contains wheat protein, acacia honey, and Vitamin E. The ingredients work together to smooth dry and damaged hair and to replenish moisture and shine. Hair is left soft and silky, and the condition of the hair is improved with continued use. The conditioner is creamy without weighing the hair down. It does a great job of detangling my hair, and my hair is left soft and smooth. The full size product can be purchased here for R340 (250 ml).

Tigi Oatmeal & Honey Treatment Masque (10 ml)

The treatment contains hydrolized wheat protein, lactic acid, apidic acid, and a conditioning agent. It conditions and moisturisers the hair to help smooth dry, damaged hair. It also helps to protect the hair against heat damage. The full size can be purchased here for R400 (200 ml).

The October Test Box can be purchased here for R160.

Until next time!


08 October 2015

Travel Post: A Long Weekend in the Bush

The husband and I had been meaning to go for a holiday in the Kruger National Park (KNP) for ages, but never got round to it. A few months ago we decided that come hell or high water, we will have a short holiday over the long weekend at the end of September. This long and photo-heavy post (sorry, not sorry) documents our holiday from the Thursday (24/09) until the Sunday. I hope you enjoy it!


At the time we decided to go away (and this was months ago), all accommodation in the park had already been booked full, bar a few very expensive places. I used my knowledge of the park (my research is concentrated on happenings in the park) and located a few main gates for us to enter into KNP. I then used to locate reasonably priced accommodation close to those gates. First up was a two-night stay (Thursday and Friday evenings) at Masorini Bush Lodge in Phalaborwa, near the Phalaborwa gate. My calculations here were pretty good, as we were only 8 km from the gate! More than half of that was dirt road, but I digress. The Saturday evening we slept over at Komati Guest House in Komatipoort, which is 10 km (tar road!) from the Crocodile Bridge gate way down in the south. I'll never make the mistake again of organising a trip where we need to drive from the Phalaborwa gate to Crocodile Bridge gate through the park in one day (there are very strict speed limits in the park), but you live and learn I guess.

Next came the packing and you can read about my updated travel bag here.

Masorini Bush Lodge (Phalaborwa): Thursday and Friday

Masorini shares their border with the KNP and the fences are down, so sometimes the animals decide to wander over to the lodge's side. There is a resident buck, porcupine, and other creatures roaming the grounds, waiting for the owner to feed them.

The chalet is nice and big with a nice big room opening onto the stoep with a sliding glass door. The bed is big and super comfy and there is also a mosquito net that you could lower at night which made me feel like an actress in Arabian Nights. The bathroom is basic, with no toiletries provided, but that didn't bother me as I never use guesthouse toiletries (except for the hand soap). The shower is better than I'm used to at a lodge or guesthouse: a nice big shower head with good water pressure. What more can you ask for? 

There is a big open wardrobe where you can hang your clothes, or put away folded clothes. There are also two drawers that you can lock which came in handy for things such as laptops. 

The stoep also doubled up as a kitchen: there was a wooden table with two benches, a two-plate gas stove, a kettle, and a bar fridge. We were supposed to have a braai outside on the grass, but when we got there the owner's wife said it had broken but her husband would replace it that night. Keep in mind this was on Braai Day. When we woke from an epic afternoon nap, we saw the tiniest braai known to humankind sitting on the grass. I've never even gone camping with such a small braai, let alone stayed in a chalet. The lady also told us we only had to bring wood, but when we got there, they didn't even supply matches or a lighter. No one felt like driving to town on the dirt road in the dark, so we borrowed our neighbours' cigarette lighter. 

Komati Guest House (Komatipoort): Saturday

Saturday evening we arrived at Komati Guest House and were met by Esther who was so friendly and helpful. She could probably see we were tired (we had been driving since 06:30 that morning in the KNP) so she offered to make a reservation for us for dinner at a restaurant around the corner. Tambarina is a Portuguese restaurant and the setting is just fantastic. We sat outside and there was a light breeze blowing. We had to wait quite a while for our food, but it was so worth it! I was so tired that I can't remember what I ordered, except that it was incredible. My husband's food was also incredible and I can highly recommend this little hidden gem!

The guesthouse kind of made you feel like you were sleeping over at a relative's house: each couple had a room (with their own bathroom) in a very big house. You got to our room by walking through the living room! The room is nice and big with a comfy bed (and the puffiest duvet I have ever touched), a kettle, a bar fridge, a TV, and a bathroom. The bathroom's layout was...interesting. The shower was incredibly small (I kept knocking my elbows against the shower door) and the shower head dismal. But after a long day in the park, a shower is still a shower. The white bath was also a bit stained, and frankly not even a Lush bath bomb would have made me want to go in there.

The Park 

Now, there's a lot that I can say about the KNP. It's big, it's busy, and it will steal your heart. I can't really explain it, you have to experience it for yourself. It was a nice experience staying outside the park, but next time I would definitely want to stay inside the park as it just makes the logistics easier regarding getting in and out of the park each day. If you're going as a day visitor over long weekends or at other busy times, rather do an advanced day booking online. And if you enjoy going to parks, it might be worth it to get a Wild Card (you can purchase it online here). We purchased our second one now (first one was while we were at uni), and it is truly worth it. If you show this at reception you don't pay the conservation fee ("entry fee" at the park), and I think you are eligible for a 5% discount if you book accommodation at various parks. There are different options to choose from, but all Wild Cards are valid for a year from the date of purchase.

Anyway, enough talking, let's look at some photos, shall we? All photos shown here were taken by me, and with zero retouching.

I hope you liked my travel post, should I do more of these?

Until next time!